Sikorsky Announces Military X2 Helicopters
Sikorsky announces its plans to build military prototypes of its high-speed X2 helicopter…
After featuring the X3 helicopter – Eurocopter’s high-speed rival to Sikorsky’s X2 – it has now emerged that Sikorsky is one step closer in applying its hybrid helicopter technology for military applications.
With the public unveiling of Eurocopter’s X3, Sikorsky hopes to further its bid to build a high-speed tactical helicopter to replace the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior with the announcement that it will build two prototypes which will be known as the X2 Raider, or Sikorsky S-97.
Sikorsky S-97 - X2 Raider
Jim Kagdis, Sikorsky’s manager of advanced programs, gave an overview of the military X2 Raider at the International Powered Lift Conference in Philadelphia earlier this month:
‘The aircraft is 35.1ft long with 33ft-diameter rotors. Empty weight is around 6,700lb and maximum gross weight 10,500lb. At a mission weight of about 9,500lb, cruise speed is 200kt, turn rate 2.9g and endurance 3.5hr on internal fuel.’ [Ares Defense Blog]
Sikorsky’s Light Tactical Helicopter (LTH) program aims to demonstrate the X2’s ability to execute 3G turns at high-speed, perform tight turns in a reduced turning radius, all whilst being armed and equipped for missions such as reconnaissance, search and rescue, medical evacuation.
Just like the X2, the S-97 will come equipped with coaxial rotors, pusher propulsor, integrated powerplant and fly-by-wire. Sikorsky plans the first flight of the S-97 within 50 months, and hopes that the Raider will be operational by 2014.